Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Want to Read by the End of 2016

Hello fellow bookish people!

As some of the more perceptive among you may have noticed, today is Wednesday! Which means it’s time for another Top 5 Wednesday! Woo!

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T5W is a weekly book meme and it’s Goodreads group exists here for anyone who wants to know more/take part!

This week’s topic is…

August 24th: Books You Want to Read Before the End of the Year
–Another self-explanatory one!

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1.Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

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2.A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

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3.Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

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4.Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

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5.Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

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What about you guys? What do you plan on reading before this year is over?

lizard

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite First Sentences!

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It’s Top 5 Wednesday time again! I couldn’t limit myself to five, so my list actually has seven. I love picking out good first sentences – they’re such an important part of books!

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T5W is a weekly book meme – find the Goodreads group here for more details.

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The statistical probability that an illiterate in 1970s Soweto will grow up and one day find herself confined in a potato truck with the Swedish king and prime minister is 1 in 45,766,212,810.

According to the calculations of the aforementioned illiterate herself.

-Jonas Jonasson, The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

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Some things start before other things.

– Terry Pratchett, The Wee Three Men.

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It is many years before the Pied Piper comes back for the other children.

– Eliza Granville, Gretel and the Dark

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At dusk they pour from the sky.

– Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

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All children, except one, grow up.

– J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

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A secret is a strange thing.

– Maggie Stiefvater, The Dreams Thieves

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When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread, till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears, his eyes were reduced to mere chinks, and diverging wrinkles appeared round them, extending upon his countenance like the rays in a rudimentary sketch of the rising sun.

– Thomas Hardy, Far From the Madding Crowd

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So what about you guys? What are your favourite opening lines? Please let me know!

lizard

Top 5 Wednesday: Feelings Change…

This week’s T5W topic is…

Books You Feel Differently About!

Talk about the books that you feel differently about after you’ve had time to think about them or re-read them. These are books that you gave a low rating, and then thought about it or re-read it and ended up loving. Or a book that you loved when you first read it, but after you’ve thought about it or you’ve gotten older, you see how many problems it had.

(from T5W group on Goodreads)

T5W is a weekly book meme, use the link above to find the Goodreads group if you want to know more/ join in!

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Jane Eyre

I first attempted to read Jane Eyre when I was 14 after receiving it as a gift. I read about two, three chapters and called it quits – I just wasn’t enjoying the writing or the story. Then I tried it again when I was 16 and I adored it! It’s one of my favourites now.

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The 5th Wave

First read = loved it. Tried to re-read it just before the second one came out = hated it.

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My Sister’s Keeper

The book ending differs from the film ending drastically and after I thought about it a bit (and stopped crying), I realised that I kind of hated the book ending. Both are devastating, but the film is believable devastating – the book is lets-have-a-big-plot-twist-now devastating, but the plot twist doesn’t make sense. At. All.

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Switched/Torn/Ascend (Trylle Series)

I loved these books at the time, but in hindsight they were actually pretty meh. I tried rereading them a while ago, and I realised how whiny Wendy was. I wish I’d left them alone after that first time.

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I could only think of four – but let’s count the Trylle series as three books, okay? Okay.

What about you guys? Has any else read any of these? Thoughts? Talk to me!

lizard

Top 5 Wednesday: Most Unlikable Characters!

118368Top 5 Wednesday time! This is a weekly book meme – the Goodreads group lives here – and this week’s topic is:

Most Unlikable Characters
— NOT VILLAINS! These are protagonists or side characters that are unlikable! (These should lean more towards characters who aren’t intentionally unlikeable. Not villains, or mean girl/guys, etc.)

I, like all bookworms, have encountered characters that I think the author intended for me to like, or even love, but I hated their very existence. Wished they could be obliterated from the book. Replaced by someone better. ANYTHING.

So, here’s the list of said undesirables:

  • Bella Swan from the Twilight Saga. I wanted to love Twilight all those many moons ago when it was the thing – and whilst I thought it was okay at the time, I’ve never been able to like Bella. She’s too passive and boring and whiny. I ended up abandoning the series after three books. I just couldn’t face a fourth. *shudders*

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  • Mare Barrow from Red Queen. Mare was far too generic a heroine – I felt like I’d read about her before, several times over. Her blandness irritated me enough that I gave up after reading about two thirds of Red Queen, which was disappointing because the premise was brilliant and it had excellent reviews.

 

  • Mal Oretsev from the Grisha Trilogy – NO SPOILERS PLEASE! I’ve only read the first two! i just find Mal quite annoying. I don’t why exactly. I just do.I feel like it’s probably more his relationship with Alina that irritates me than the character himself. Maybe he’ll get better in book 3? I remain hopeful.

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  • Alyssa and Jeb from the Splintered series. I loved book 1, I wanted to love book two, and book three got DNF’d, mainly because of these two. I found them whiny and annoying. You know what would have been better? A series solely about Morpheus. That I would finish! I feel like part of my issue with this series is that I started reading it when I wasn’t all that critical of what I read and the fact it was an Alice in Wonderland retelling gave it extra brownie points. By the time I got book 3 my attitude to reading was a lot different and the initial excitement for the series had worn off. Still, the actual world building and plot of this series is fantastic, as is Morpheus, so it’s not by any means a total miss.

 

  • Quentin and Margo from Paper Towns. I didn’t manage to finish this one either. They were all so annoying! They ruined a perfectly good road trip. *shakes head.*

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Well, I’ve spotted a pattern – if I hate the characters chances are I’ll not finish the book. I actually found it weird how many of these I hadn’t finished, because it’s something I rarely actually do. This list makes me look like a serial book dumper – I’m not! I promise!

Anyhoo, what do guys think? Agree with me? Disagree? Let me know!

lizard

Top 5 Wednesday: Wishlist Additions!

118368It’s Top Five Wednesday again!

This is a weekly book meme and you can find the Goodreads group here if you want to know more or take part. This week’s topic is…

Most Recent Additions to Your Wishlist!

 

  • Red Seas Under Red Skies and The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch.

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  • Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

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  • Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff

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  • Slade House by David Mitchell

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What’s on your wishlist? Any matches? Please let me know!

lizard

Top 5 Wednesday: Sequels Wanted!

Hello! This week’s T5W topic is: “Stand-alone’s that you wish had a sequel or the last118368 book in the series that you wish wasn’t the last.”  T5W is a weekly book meme and you can find the Goodreads group here, if you would like to find out more or join in.

Any self-respecting bookworm will have suffered from a condition sometimes referred to as “Book Hangover”. It is the experience of feeling bereft after finishing a really amazing book. It is best cured by the consumption of another great book, but, alas, when compared to the book that created the problem in the first place, it is often difficult to find a book up to the task.

This is where sequels come in handy. If you finish a book and begin to feel a book hangover coming on, you can grab the sequel and continue on with the same characters, story, author – it’s not always guaranteed to be as good as its predecessor, but it usually helps.

But a lot of great books are stand alone. And all series have to end at some point. So here are my top 5 books that I wish had sequels:

  • Seraphina/Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman. I want more! This fantasy duology about dragons is brilliant, engaging and very original. The second book wasn’t as great as the first, the plot wasn’t as focused, but I would love to know more about these characters.

 

  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I just loved this book and want to spend more time in London Below.

 

  • Faery Rebels series by R J Anderson. I mentioned this series on last week’s Top Ten Tuesday for underrated books and I seriously want a conclusion to it! The first trilogy ended very neatly, but the ones after it – Swift and Nomad – felt like part of a larger story that never appeared.

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  • Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. One of my favourite books of all time. I would love a sequel!

 

  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. How cool would a book about a modern day Night Circus be? Just think about that for a second, if you will.

 

So what are your desperately wanted sequels? Or do prefer stand-alone’s? Please let me know!

lizard

 

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Books Outside my Comfort Zone

Here’s to those living – or reading – dangerously!

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Everyone’s got a comfort zo118368ne. Some people are more willing than others to step outside of theirs, but everyone’s got one, even us bookworms, and it’s this week’s Top Five Wednesday topic. To find out more about Top Five Wednesday click on this link for the Goodreads T5W group.

Personally, I’m the sort of person who always wants to try new things (or at least I like to think that I’m like that :)), and this definitely extends to my reading habits. Whilst I’d probably define my reading comfort zone as a mix of fantasy, paranormal and historical, I’m usually not put off a book if doesn’t fall into one of these genres. The way I see it, I’d be missing out on a huge selection of great books if I did.

However, it has taken me a while to become more open minded about what I read – a few years ago if it wasn’t YA, I wasn’t reading it. And if it didn’t have some sort of fantastical/not-like-real-life element to it, it was unlikely that I’d read it. Don’t think that I now dislike YA – I don’t. I’m just no longer intimidated by other books if they aren’t: age is just a number and all that.

So for this week’s T5W I decided to make my list about the books that made me branch out of my old comfort zone and become a more open-minded reader:

cover_hound_of_baskervilles_1902The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle. I count this as my first adventure into Victorian literature. It made me feel less intimidated about reading novels from that time period, or any time period to be honest. Before I read this I was worried about the language in older books being too difficult or convoluted for me to be able to enjoy it properly. And, to be honest, my younger self was rather dubious about the relevance of books from such a long time ago – she thought all classics were just pretentious. Older and not-that-much-wiser-but-I’m-trying me now knows that most classics have that title for a reason – they’re good, they’re part of our cultural history, and they’re huge influences on modern literature too.

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Through the Woods by Emily Carroll – My first graphic novel! This a set of short stories, all of them eerie and kind of disturbing, but wonderful none the less. The artwork is gorgeous. This book made me want to read more graphic novels, something I’m still working on.

 

 

20483085Poisoned Apples: Poems for you my Pretty by Christine Heppermann. Until not that long ago I’d always been quite ambivalent about poetry – it was something you studied in English class and wrote essays about. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the poetry I learned about in school, I actually really liked a lot of it, but I struggled to see it out of the context of an English classroom or an exam hall. But then I got Poisoned Apples and that began to change. Firstly, it was by a poet who wasn’t dead. It’s not that I thought all poets had to be dead before this book, it was just that  all the poets I’d ever encountered before had been, so it had become a sort of expectation on my part. Secondly, it hit me on a more personal level than most poetry; Poisoned Apples is about the trials and pains of being a teenage girl and all the harmful expectations that come with that in the modern world. Yay for feminist poetry! 🙂

21094993The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson. Such a quirky, strange, unexpected book, brimming with bizarre plot twists and odd characters. The trick with this book is not to take it too seriously – it’s supposed to be fun! I’d never read anything like it before. It’s humorous:“Life, here I come!’ he said. And was immediately and fatally run over by a bus.” This book was one of my first forays into contemporary literature and away from the YA Fantasy comfort zone I’d been camped out in for the better part of my early teens.

 

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The Collected Works of A.J Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. One of my absolute favourite books of all time. It’s one of those rare gems that makes you cry both happy and sad tears. I read it all one sitting. It’s a book about book people, love, and the messiness of life that made me reconsider my comfort zone by being another amazing example of contemporary fiction. I kind of want to reread it now. 🙂

 

 

So that’s my list. What would be on yours? What’s your reading comfort zone?

lizard

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Posts

118368This week’s Top 5 Wednesday Topic is to pick out my favourite posts that I’ve written on this blog – which doesn’t leave a huge selection, considering this blog is basically still a baby. Maybe a toddler at a push. I think it might be capable of walking on it’s own by now? Does that make it a toddler? Who knows.

If you want to take part or join in, here’s the link for the Top 5 Wednesday group on Goodreads.

Anyhoo, here is my list of my favourite posts:

  • Emma by Jane Austen Book Review – probably my longest review to date and the one I got the most comments for – it was nice to have written something that made people want to talk about the book 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you like my list. If you have any posts that you’re proud of/think are interesting/whatever, please leave me a link in the comments! 🙂

lizard